Happy Baby! How Smiles Develop

6-8 Weeks: Responsive Smile

baby smiling

Alexandra Grableswki

As your baby grows, she'll start to smile at things she finds pleasurable -- cuddles, voices, and faces. But don't expect too much at this stage. Her smile is a reaction to sensory experiences, not a social response. "You might like to think this smile is some sort of acknowledgment that you are the best mom in the world," says Charlotte Cowan, MD, a pediatrician in Boston. Of course you are! But these smiles aren't proof of it right now. "Your baby doesn't have a clear sense yet of who you are."

Still, you can try to encourage a smile. "You'll learn what noises and expressions get her to respond," says Julie Segal, MD, a pediatrician at Atlanta's Northside Hospital. Give your baby plenty of opportunities to study your face while you talk gently to her. Imitate her expressions, and she may start to imitate yours.

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